AIFF searching for talent in North India

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New Delhi, Sep 24 (UNI) Emphasising the need for proper identification and development of young footballers, AIFF president Priyaranjan Dasmumshi today announced that the federation is now looking towards North India for new talent.

''We want well-built youngsters in keeping with coach Bob Houghton's demand for big, strong players. We are concentrating on North India, specially Haryana, to provide big bodied players,'' Dasmunshi told mediapersons here.

''We are also looking for young talent from the north-east and central India,'' he added.

Houghton's emphasis on tall, strong players and physical fitness has seen several well-built players like Abhishek Yadav, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Anwar and Narinder Singh make their way into the national squad in recent times.

This policy has paid rich dividends with India winning the AFC Challenge Cup last month to qualify for the Asia Cup after a long gap of 28 years.

The victory in the Nehru Cup last year, where India defeated a much higher ranked Syria in the final, reignited public interest in the game and gave Indian football a much needed shot in the arm.

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